Back in 1981, when I was 18, I got to meet Clifford D. Simak in Denver, Colorado at the 39th Annual World Science Fiction Convention. He was an effervescent old man with an absolutely infectious smile. I didn't really know who he was or what he had written as my tastes were narrower and a little less refined in those days.
It's a shame, because at this point it's a little late in the day to thank him.
One of the first books of his I read, a few years after meeting him, was City - a novel composed of linked short stories written between 1944 and 1951. It had a very profound effect on me with its folksy robots tending the gardens of an Earth wholly deserted by Mankind, left to the by-then-sentient Dogs and of course the industrious Ants.
The richness of his characters and depth of his stories has stayed with me through the years and the palpable warmth and humanity of his words still speak to me across time and space.
Thanks Clifford, wherever you are, I drew this for you:
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